A few weeks ago we were sitting together as a family, eating dinner. I don’t even remember what we were talking about when I heard one of my kiddos say, “That really SUCKS.”
Now, this might not seem like a big deal to you, but I knew by the way the word was said…our child was testing us. All eyes were on mommy and daddy to see what our reaction would be. I must’ve had a funny look on my face because the response from our child was “What”?! with both hands in the air.
Here’s how the conversation went:
me: Nothing, I’ve just never heard you say that word before.
kiddo: Why, is it a cuss word?
me: No, it’s not.
kiddo: Is it a bad word?
me: No, but it’s not a very nice word.
kiddo: Mom, you guys treat me like I’m still suppose to talk like a baby. Everyone at school talks like that.
Hold the phone right there. What?! This was the first conversation of this type…hmmm. I wonder how long he/she’s been thinking about that.
me: Is it a word you would say to your principal at school?
me: Why not?
kiddo: Because, I don’t know why. I just wouldn’t.
me: Okay, so…is it a word you would say to your teacher? Like “This assignment really SUCKS”? [I put some emphasis on the word the way it was first said…lol.]
me: Why not?
kiddo: Just because, I wouldn’t…
kiddo: Wait, why don’t you guys use that word? You guys never say cuss words.
Dad: Because, we want to use our words to speak good things to and over people…and because the Bible talks tons about using your words for God. If it doesn’t represent Jesus well, we don’t say it.
kiddo: [Okay. I get it.]<— That’s my interpretation of the look that was given 😉
It was such a powerful, unplanned moment. It wasn’t a lesson in cuss words. It wasn’t even really about the word that was said…as much as it was about all of the words we say. We ended up talking later that night more about the conversation. And it was so good.
Our goal is to teach our family the value of our words…the power that God places in our words. Every time you react or have a conversation with someone, you have the power to invite God to the conversation OR to invite satan to the conversation.
We talked through some scriptures and what they had to say about your words…
Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up…”
Proverbs 21:23 “Those who guard their mouths, keep themselves from calamity.”
Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death…”
Proverbs 17:27-28 “A truly wise person uses few words, a person of understanding is even-tempered.”
The first scripture alone is a great reminder for me for every single day. If you’re not going to speak something that is building someone else up, you don’t need to speak it. Learning to be slow to speak, keeps you from trouble…your tongue has power! Your words have power! What do you want to speak, life or death?
For those of you who are thinking “man, that’s tough…it’s not even a bad word…” I hear you. I really do. But hear me out…it’s the little things we allow in our hearts that turn into bigger things. It’s the little things we allow in our hearts that turn into bigger things. It’s the small, seemingly insignificant things that can lead to sin. We’re not saying that you’re never going to mess up, or that you should always stay quiet. What we are teaching our kids to recognize…hopefully at a very young age, is that your words have power. And we should use them for God’s glory!